Firefox 3.1 Beta Supports Multi-Touch Gestures

The latest Firefox beta has enabled support for multi-touch gestures on the latest Apple laptops (including the MacBook Air, and late 2008 MacBook/Macbook Pro). Multi touch gestures already provide a whole new way to use Expose on your Mac, and it seems that Firefox is likely to beat Apple to integrate the functionality into a web browser.

Shortly after Apple’s latest notebook refresh in October, an experimental build of Firefox was released that allowed Mac users to utilize the functionality of the multi-touch trackpad in the browser. As of the latest Firefox beta (v3.2), these features have been integrated into the official version.

The gestures available are:

  • Swipe Left: Go back in history (hold Cmd to open it in a tab)
  • Swipe Right: Go forward in history
  • Swipe Up: Go to the top of the page
  • Swipe Down: Go to the end of the page
  • Pinch Together: Zoom out
  • Pinch Apart: Zoom in
  • Twist Right: Next tab
  • Twist Left: Previous tab

It is expected that this new feature will be included in the next major release of Firefox, v3.1, when it becomes publicly available. Other new additions slated for the release include a private browsing mode and improved JavaScript support.

When testing this feature, Gadget Lab reported that it seemed to work with older MacBook Pro versions, not requiring the latest 2008 MacBook hardware.

This is certainly a great development from Firefox, and something I would very much like to see supported by Safari, my browser of choice. It will be interesting to see how quickly Apple moves to adopt the feature when an official release of Firefox is distributed.

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